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Synergistic Interactions of K-16 Partnership Work, Research, and Teaching in Higher Education Science Faculty Members


Work between higher education faculty and K-12 schools and teachers is fairly common, sometimes initiated by schools, sometimes designed by science professors under the aegis of broader impact as mandated by research grant solicitations and most recently mandated by the National Science Foundation's Math Science Partnership (MSP) solicitations. While most such work is focused on K-12 impact, this series of case studies examines the "push-back" effects of such work on the professors' teaching, scientific research, and in some cases, their institutions. The study is informed by and contributes to Ernest Boyer's discussion of scholarship in academia (Boyer, 1990). Four of the subjects of this study were engaged in an MSP project and one professor's work evolved from outreach as part of other research grants. All subjects formed partnerships characterized by mutual commitment, growth, respect and trust. The findings variously and powerfully illustrate interactions between: partnership work and the professors' teaching, partnership work and research, and teaching and research. It also uncovers factors impacting these interactions.